Feeding City’s Jasleen Sohal talks with Ilham Saydna, Program Development Coordinator at Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank. Ilham shares her journey in food security work, drawing from nearly a decade of experience at Daily Bread and her longtime involvement with the Scarborough Food Network. She explains how a large organization such as Daily Bread supports people in need, shedding light on its community-based partnership model and work with local agencies (such as CICS) and its research and advocacy efforts to end hunger. Despite a broad and resilient food distribution network, need has continued to rise over the past few years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, inflation, and rising costs of living. In the early months of the pandemic, Daily Bread sought to bring emergency food provisions closer to the homes of vulnerable people to improve access. From March-May 2020, it set up food distribution sites at several branches of the Toronto Public Library, which pivoted to serving as food bank facilities during the pandemic emergency. In the following weeks -- in June and July of 2020 -- Daily Bread launched an astounding 19 new programs to meet soaring demand and fill gaps in communities that were hit especially hard, such as Scarborough. New food banks continue to open every month. Ilham emphasizes that change is possible, and she notes how the public can get involved in supporting efforts to end food insecurity. This interview with Feeding City was recorded on July 11, 2023.
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